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15 organisations condemn Houthi death sentence against human rights activist

A Houthi security soldier stands guard during a rally marking International Quds Day on May 07, 2021 in Sana'a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]
A Houthi security soldier stands guard during a rally marking International Quds Day on May 07, 2021 in Sana'a, Yemen [Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images]

Fifteen Yemeni civil society and human rights organisations have denounced the death sentence issued by a Houthi-controlled court against human rights activist and lawyer Zafaran Zaid, head of the Empower Women Foundation.

On Wednesday, a Houthi-controlled court in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, issued a death sentence against human rights activist Zaid and her husband, Fouad Al-Mansouri.

Human rights sources stated that the Houthi-controlled Criminal Court issued the verdict on the grounds that transferring a child, Buthaina Al-Rimi, for treatment in Saudi Arabia was a kidnapping attempt.

The sources added that the verdict was issued despite Al-Rimi's return to Sanaa after receiving the necessary treatment in the Saudi kingdom, explaining that the ruling comes within the framework of the Houthi militia's continuous crackdown on civil society organisations and activists.

On Thursday, the organisations expressed their solidarity with the human rights activist in a joint statement, while condemning the grave violation committed against her by a court controlled by the Houthi militia, which sentenced her to death.

Read: African Commission petitioned to intervene in imminent executions of 12 men following 'shameful' trials in Egypt

The statement considered the sentence: "A violation affecting all Yemeni women in general and female human rights defenders in particular."

The statement added: "While we condemn and denounce the death sentence issued by the Houthi militia against Zafaran, we affirm that this militia's sentence is a blatant violation that targeted a woman working in the field of human rights activism, which constitutes an attack on humanitarian and human rights work as a whole, in addition to the fact that of the Houthi militia has been exploiting the judicial authority's powers politically."

The organisations expressed deep regret over the violations committed by the Houthi militia against Yemeni women, the continuous practices of repression and intimidation, and the limitation of freedom of work and humanitarian activities that the Yemeni people constantly need during the war.

The organisations called on the international community, the United Nations and international organisations to protect Yemeni women and human rights workers in Yemen from the practices and abuses committed against them by the Houthi group, in addition to the need to immediately ban death sentences issued by the militia.

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